Seated breton girl (1889; France) by Paul Gauguin

Seated breton girl - Paul Gauguin - 1889; France

Artwork Information

TitleSeated breton girl
ArtistPaul Gauguin
Date1889; France
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationNy Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, Denmark

About Seated breton girl

The artwork titled “Seated Breton Girl” is an oil on canvas painting by the artist Paul Gauguin, dating to 1889. This piece is an exemplification of the Post-Impressionism art movement and falls within the genre painting category. It currently resides in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen, Denmark. The artwork captures the traditional life and the natural environment of Brittany, France, where Gauguin spent several periods.

The artwork exudes a serene and pastoral mood, depicting a young girl seated on a grassy field. She is portrayed in profile, facing left, with her legs stretched out and her hands resting on her lap. The subject is garbed in traditional Breton dress, characterized by a simple, dark bodice and a voluminous blue skirt that spills over her legs, creating a significant presence in the composition. Her white coif, typical of Breton folk costume, frames her youthful, contemplative face. In the background, the rural Breton landscape unfolds with rolling green hills, a few scattered cottages, and grazing cattle, conveying a strong sense of place and cultural identity.

Gauguin’s use of bold outlines and flat areas of color is consistent with the Post-Impressionist approach, which sought to express emotion and symbolism beyond the naturalistic depiction of the Impressionists. His palette is vibrant yet earthy, with an emphasis on greens, blues, and browns that echo the natural world around the seated girl. The painting communicates a timeless simplicity and a deep connection to the Breton land and its people, reflecting Gauguin’s quest for a more primitive and elemental expression in his art.

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